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Educational Play with Schleich I'm a big fan of learning through play. Unforced educational play. I'm not a teacher and I don't want to be. I want my children to naturally learn whilst they are having fun. When I was contacted recently...

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Say Eh-Oh to the new Teletubbies toys! There back!! Teletubbies made a joyous return to CBeebies last year, and this year marks the launch of the new range of toys. As you know I was sent a box just before Christmas, and today I can finally...

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Travel: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough Last weekend Nana and I took a rather lengthy journey north for a night away at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough, with Little Dude in tow. The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is a luxurious country hotel...

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A Place To Enjoy My Garden I love my garden. I love the fact that I have a garden, especially with the recent gorgeous weather we've been having. Whilst I have a pretty compact garden, there's a lot going on out there. Plants, fruit...

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Cuddles With Ben Cohen Some days I have a really difficult job. Days like this for example. *Ahem* That rather nice young man is former rugby player Ben Cohen. Ben is a bit of an expert when it comes to cuddles. He has...

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HABA 75th Anniversary Review: The Little Fall Asleep Moon

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Product Reviews | Posted on 27-03-2013

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This is the final of the three HABA reviews this week as part of their 75th Anniversary activity.
Our last review is our favourite of the products we were sent. Books are a big part of Little Man’s life – he loves at least three books before bed time and usually one at nap time too. Whilst he has his clear favourites this little book is a lovely addition to his bookshelf. First and foremost this is a story that is perfect for bedtime. A lovely tale about the end of the day, with a few simple observation games included on each page. The final page is a match the pairs memory game with easy to remove pieces and familiar characters from the earlier story. Also included is a small wooden moon of your own which glows gently in the dark, ideal for any little ones who might be scared of the being on their own in the dark.

This is a great wind down book for bedtime with some nice calming activities. Its a great interaction book for small children which I’m sure will become a firm favourite in our house. I also love the size of the book and the included wooden moon – perfect for small hands to hold and cherish.

Book Review: Chocolate Chipped

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Book Review | Posted on 30-04-2012

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This is a book I hope you never need, but if you do, I know you’ll love it.

“Chocolate Chipped” by Shelley Gilbert and Vicky Baruch tells the story of Charlie, a little boy who is struggling to come to terms with the death of his father. The book shows how Charlie learns to deal with his grief, and how he is helped along the way. The brilliant thing about this book is that it uses real smells which are embedded in the pages to deal with sensitive subject of grief in an honest, simple and at times humorous way. Grass, chocolate cake, and even “pongy socks” feature, and all you need to do to smell them is rub the pages, and I can confirm that the smells are extremely realistic.

The book was written in association with the Grief Encounter Project, one of the UK’s leading child bereavement organisations. The Grief Encounter Project aims to provide the support and understanding bereaved children and their families need to cope at the most difficult of times. You can find out more about the amazing work they do on their website.

“Chocolate Chipped” can be bought now from Amazon and more ‘smelly books’ are on their way from Smellessence this summer.

Product Review: Ministry Of Letters

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Book Review, Information, Product Reviews | Posted on 16-04-2012

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You’ll know by now how books are a big part of our lives in my house, and you’ll have some idea of the small libraries’ worth that my Little Man has, despite being just 18 months old. We hope that by having books in his life from an early age that he’ll continue to enjoy them throughout his life, and that he won’t be put off by the idea of words and reading. For a lot of children though reading, letters and the alphabet can be a hugely confusing and intimidating thing. “The Ministry Of Letters” has come up with a fun and interesting way for children to get to grips with this sometimes scary world with the help of a brilliantly entertaining book and website.

“Operation Alphabet” is the tale of Charlie Foxtrot, a little boy who starts school and finds letters and the alphabet totally confusing – he has a bad case of the ‘alphabetaheebeegeebees’. The SAS is called in – “Special Alphabet Services” – and with the help of some rhymes, songs and a whole heap of adventure Charlie finds that letters are so much fun.

This book is a brilliant tool for any young children who are about to start school, or have perhaps started and found themselves in a similar situation to Charlie. You also get a special poster of the alphabet to stick on your bedroom wall to remind your children of how the letters look and the order they come in. I think Little Man will adore this book and the Charlie Foxtrot story when he’s a bit older, and the poster will be a brilliant tool in helping him learn the shapes that make up the alphabet.

A brand new phonic app is landing on the website soon – The Orchestra Game – but for now why not take a look at the letters in action:

You can learn all about the Ministry Of Letters at their website, where you can order your copy of Operation Alphabet too!



Christmas Gift Guide: Books For All Ages… and DISCOUNTS and a COMPETITION!!

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Book Review, Christmas Gift Guide, Competition | Posted on 09-12-2011

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Books are pretty much a regular feature under Christmas trees in my family, and always have been. I know for a fact that Little Man will be opening some new books on Christmas morning. If you’re looking for books to get for someone you know and love this festive season, I might just be able to help.

Autumn Publishing sent me a selection of their new titles recently, and I think they’d make a great addition to any stocking this year.

The “Pops For Tots” range is aimed at children from 1+ and has four titles to choose from. Chunky books that are perfect for little hands the colourful pages feature pop-up pictures which I’m sure will put a smile on any little ones face. Images on each page are named so these books could last well into early reading stages. Choose from “On The Farm”, “Time To Play”, “In The Sea” and “Things That Go.”

“Collectable Pixi Books” are for children between 3 and 6. Priced at a tiny 99p each these books are great pocket money buys, and there are plenty to choose from to get your child’s collection started. There is a range of Sesame Street, Koala Brothers and Fairy Tales to choose from and there are eight books in each series. As well as a book your Pixi pack comes with colourful stickers and a “Kids Go Free” voucher to a Sea Life Centre, making these books an absolute bargain. Stock up now!!

For 8 years and over there is the “Write Stuff” books – there’s one for boys and one for girls.  These books encourage the author within through a fun step by step guide to planning, drafting and writing a story, as well as all the different types of writing there are out there – perfect for any budding bloggers in the family! With blank pages and gaps in the information for your child to write all they’ll need is the book and a pen – it should certainly keep them quiet for a while whilst you recover on Boxing Day.

If you’re looking for a book for someone slightly older there is no book I’ll recommend more than “Are We Nearly There Yet?” by the marvellous Ben Hatch. Published by Summersdale this book is perfect for anyone that has or is about to embark on a long car journey with their children. Ben’s 8000 mile trip might take some beating, but I’m certain you’ll all find a “Yep, that happened to me…” moment in this diary of his journey. It will have you in tears, hysterics and general awe as Ben tackles this epic journey with his wife and children whilst attempting to write a guide book from the comfort of a (slightly dubious) Vauxhall Astra and rather a lot of hotel rooms. You’ll learn more about Ben and his family as they tackle dodgy driving (sorry Dinah), the death of his father, and Billie Piper’s pyjamas. As someone who’s never really done a really long car journey with a child – Little Man tends to sleep through them still – I am a little scared about what’s to come, and what things I’ll use as a make shift baby wipe…

Don’t just take my word for it – this marvellous book has got itself something of celebrity following!

‘Ben Hatch makes me laugh.’

John Cleese

‘A voyage of pain, suffering, argument, baby wipes, discovery and utter delight… Never travel in a car without children without this book by your side…’

Terry Wogan

‘A funny, touching cross-country jaunt that’s as much about being a kid as it is about being a grown-up. (And thank God someone else did it so you don’t have to…)’

Danny Wallace

‘A wonderful book – hilarious, cringeworthy and moving, all at the same time. Highly recommended for anyone with a family, a car or a sense of humour.’

Sophie Kinsella

“Ben Hatch is a very funny writer. His work is fresh and heartfelt.”

David Jason.

“A wonderful book. Terribly moving and so so funny.”

Richard Briers.


To win a copy of Ben’s brilliant book simply follow these instructions:

1) Comment on this post AND 2) Tweet “Are We Nearly There Yet @SussexMummy and @BenHatch?”

Competition ends at 8pm on Friday 16th December and I will endeavour to get the book to the winner before Christmas!!

Autumn Publishing can be found online where you’ll discover their huge range of children’s books and use the following code for a discount off your first purchase!!

“Are We Nearly There Yet?” is available from Summersdale Publishing.

Follow Ben Hatch on Twitter @BenHatch.